Paul Baker - Saxophone & Composer/Arranger
Paul Baker has earned degrees from the University of North Texas, where he played in and wrote for the One O’Clock Lab Band, and the University of Southern California where he earned a Certificate in Film Music Composition. Notable teachers include Pat Williams, Leon Breeden, Neil Slater, Jim Riggs, Dan Haerle, and Rich Matteson. Paul has also been a principal composer and arranger, as well as a member of the Dallas Jazz Orchestra and the Tony Campise Big Band writing such charts as “Quiet Time”, “Maxwell D. Cat”, “Bikini Beach”, and “Elise”. While living in Los Angeles, Paul was a member of the Bill Watrous and Tom Kubis big bands (“Slightly Off The Ground” CD), amongst many others. Performance credits include tours with Artetha Franklin, The Temptations, and the Broadway Show “Dreamgirls”. Concert appearances include Ray Charles, Nancy Wilson, Jack Sheldon, and Kim Richmond.
Dr. John Mills - Saxophone
Dr. John Mills has long been one of Texas’ most in-demand saxophonists, arrangers, and composers. He not only plays and writes across a complete spectrum of jazz styles --- from mainstream to experimental, from big band to fusion to chamber jazz, but he is also active in virtually every other genre of contemporary music. His interests and creative experience extend to R&B, salsa, classical, world music, blues, country, funk, rock, folk, gospel, and more --- all of which he pursues both in concert and in the recording studio. During his diverse professional career he has performed, arranged, and composed for a vast number of CD’s, film/TV soundtracks, and jingles.
Besides his prolific work as a studio performer, John has produced and recorded two CD’s for Fable Records under his own name: John Mills TIMES TEN Caffeine Dreams and John Mills Invisible Designs, featuring Carmen Bradford, both of which showcase exclusively his innovative original compositions. He is also the musical director, conductor, and primary composer/arranger of The Backyard Symphony pops orchestra, and is composer and co-lyricist of the musical theatre work VineLand which toured major U.S. cities in 2007.
Mills has appeared on numerous Austin City Limits PBS television broadcasts over the years, including performances with Ray Benson, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Sara Hickman, Patti Page, Beto and the Fairlanes, W.C. Clark, Miss Lavelle White and Los Lonely Boys, and composed the opening theme for one of that popular series’ early seasons.
In his musical travels John has performed in concert with such jazz luminaries as Maria Schneider, Kenny Wheeler, Carla Bley and Steve Swallow, played shows with such R&B icons as Bonnie Raitt, Dr. John, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, and written commissioned orchestral arrangements for such diverse artists as Asleep at the Wheel, Rosanne Cash, Indigo Girls and David Byrne.
Mills has composed extensively for both professional and university jazz ensembles, including many charts published by Walrus Music and ejazzlines. His If Memory Serves, was awarded First Prize in the ArtEZ Jazz Composition held at the 2008 Grolsch International Jazz Festival in Enschede, the Netherlands. John has also written classical pieces for the Tosca String Quartet, the Wild Basin Winds, and Solistico de Santiago (Chile).
Dr. Mills is a Professor of Jazz Studies at UT-Austin’s Butler School of Music, where he teaches jazz saxophone, composition, arranging and history.
Dr. Adrian Ruiz - Trumpet
Dr. Adrian Ruiz serves as the Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combos director at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Dr. Ruiz is active as a freelance trumpeter, performing regularly throughout the state of Texas. He has performed internationally at the Montreux, North Sea, and Taichung Jazz Festivals. He has shared the stage with the following musical acts: Justo Almario, Angela Bofill, Carmen Bradford, John Clayton, Kirk Covington, Gerry Gibbs, Terry Gibbs, Al Grey, Andre Hayward, Jon Hendricks, Vincent Herring, Will Kennedy, Doug Lawrence, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jason Marsalis, Johnny Mathis, Buddy Miles, Butch Miles, James Moody, Eddie Palmieri, Bernadette Peters, Joan Rivers, Joshua Redman, Maria Schneider, The Temptations, Clark Terry, War, Mary Wilson and The Supremes, and Red Young.
In addition to his performance schedule, Dr. Ruiz has presented clinics at the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) and the Texas Bandmasters Association (TBA) Conventions. He has served as an adjudicator at band contests, jazz festivals, and has presented masterclasses at various school districts throughout San Antonio and Austin.
Dr. Ruiz received his Bachelor of Music Studies from the University of Texas at San Antonio, Master of Music from Texas State University, and Doctor of Musical Arts in Jazz Trumpet Performance from the University of Texas at Austin.
G Pat Harris - Bass
Harris maintains an active and multi-genre performance schedule. From 2011-2016 he recorded and toured with the award winning nuevo tango ensemble THE AUSTIN PIAZZOLLA QUINTET, has been a mainstay with acclaimed songsmith REED TURNER and has collaborated with countless world class artists in various settings. In addition to live and studio work, he has written and arranged music for commercials and radio, and has served as musical director and producer for an eclectic assortment of projects.
Through his own Wigglestump Records label, Harris has released four recordings as a leader: Live 4/9/09 (2009), Traveling By Moonlight (2011), Hours Before the Mourning (2013), and his most recent album of original material, recorded under the band name THE FORGOTTEN PROPHETS, titled The End (2016).
Harris blogs extensively about his experiences as a musician in an ever changing industry and other observations through the THOUGHTS page. He is currently working on his first philosophical book addressing the uniqueness of the live experience. (Click on photos to link Pat's website)
Shawn Ellison - Piano
Shawn Ellison has worked as a musician in Austin, Texas since 1982. He is a pianist, but has also performed as a composer, arranger, bandleader, organist, vocalist, musical director, and dance class accompanist. Mr. Ellison often performs as a soloist, but is equally comfortable performing with a duo, trio, quartet, quintet, or big band. He has been privileged to share the stage with Cat Anderson, Slide Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Gorshin, and Phyllis Diller. In 1985, his original dance suite “Texas” was performed at the University of Texas’ Bass Concert Hall. In 1986, he was asked by the Austin Music Umbrella to perform some of his original compositions in a composers’ concert at the Dougherty Arts Center.
He has worked extensively with dancers and choreographers, and was integral in the formation of two children’s dance/movement programs, Believe In Me and Something’s Afoot. During his seven-year tenure as Musical Director for Something’s Afoot, Shawn wrote songs and composed instrumental music for three hour-long shows, which were performed at Bass Concert Hall in Austin.
Mr. Ellison accompanies ballet classes at Ballet Austin and at the University of Texas at Austin. He accompanies eurythmy classes at the Austin Waldorf School. He has worked with the Joffrey Workshop TX in San Antonio every summer since 1987.
His band, Native Sun, won Best Jazz Band in the Austin Chronicle Music Poll in 1990, 1991, and 1992. The band’s eponymous album included several original compositions, including “Salami Stomp” which won an award in the Austin Music Umbrella’s Composer’s Competition. The band members parted ways in 1992, but occasionally get together for a reunion performance.
In 1990, Mr. Ellison traveled to Scotland with the UT Jazz Orchestra to perform in the Aberdeen International Youth Festival. In 1998, he traveled to Japan to perform with the Legends in Concert. Mr. Ellison works regularly with the Austin Jazz Workshop, an educational program for elementary schoolchildren. He is proud of his association with that organization.
Mr. Ellison has performed at Tarry House, a private club, since 1989. He has played at Truluck’s, Perry’s, the Driskill Hotel, Eddie V’s, the Four Seasons, and many other Austin venues. He has worked with Esther’s Follies and played for several years with Mr. Fabulous and his band. He recently played with the Austin Symphony Orchestra at the Long Center in a pops concert. He has worked at numerous churches, and currently serves as the pianist for Sunday evening services at St. James Episcopal Church in Austin.
Mr. Ellison holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s Degree in Legal Studies from Texas State University.
Mr. Ellison served on the Executive Board of the Austin Federation of Musicians from 2012 to 2014. He is proud to be associated with Symphony of Soul, for whom he sometimes leads singalongs for Alzheimer’s patients. He continues to play at weddings, parties, and corporate events.
Hank Hehmsoth - Piano
Hank Hehmsoth is the MacDowell Norton Stevens Fellow in Composition, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in Jazz Composition, and is a Fulbright Specialist in American Studies. He is a trainer/clinician for professional Army and Air Force career musicians, and is the 2015 recipient of the Dean’s Seminar Award. Hank is a Spotlight on Excellence at Texas State University, and has received the Texas State University Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activities. He was a member of the Austin-Texas based Christopher Cross group, which won five GRAMMY© Awards as well as an Academy Award© for best song. He is a lifetime voting member for the GRAMMY© Awards. Hank is professor of Composition and Jazz Piano, and is the Director of Computer Applications and WebMaster for the Texas State School of Music.
Dr. Martin McCain - Bass Trombone
Bass trombonist and Global Music Award Gold Medal Winner Martin McCain’s career as a musician spans an impressive scope of genres. A third-generation musician, he maintains a versatile performance schedule as a soloist, chamber, orchestral and jazz/commercial musician. According to the International Trombone Association Journal, his playing has been described as "solid and masterful". McCain is in high demand as a performer and clinician throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia. His performances and arrangements have been broadcast on Austin’s 89.5 KMFA, Tucson’s 90.5 KUAT, Chicago's 88.5 WHPK, Toronto's 98.5 CKRW and Hong Kong's RTHK 4 radio stations. Martin has appeared as a guest artist at the International Trombone Festival, Great American Brass Band Festival, Zagreb Brass Festival, Brazilian Trombone Festival and American Trombone Workshop. He is the leader of the award-winning jazz trombone ensemble, JazzBonez and a member of the highly-acclaimed Minor 4th Trombone Quartet. Martin regularly performs in recital programs both as a soloist and as the McCain Duo with his wife, pianist Artina McCain. As an orchestral musician, he regularly appears with the San Antonio Symphony and Austin Symphony in addition to various summer festival orchestras. He has also performed with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, San Antonio Opera, Austin Opera and Charleston Symphony Orchestra. As a jazz musician, he performs with the NOW Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Inc. Big Band and other commercial touring ensembles. His 2016-2017 season highlights will include various performances in concert series and university residencies in Tennessee, New York, Hawaii, Toronto, Washington DC and Columbia in addition to a CD release.
Martin was a prize - winner twice in both the International Trombone Association's Donald Yaxley Solo Bass Trombone Competition and Kai Winding Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition and twice in both of the American Trombone Workshop's National Bass Trombone Solo Competition and Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition. He has been a featured soloist with the Croatian Army Band and the United States Army Brass Quintet. In addition to being heard on various recordings on the Summit Records, Naxos and Equilibrium labels, Martin has released three solo CDs Trombone Czar: Russian Treasures Recorded Live! (2012), Shades (2014) and Trombone Czar: The Extended Version (2015). He is a four-time winner of the Global Music Awards, receiving a Bronze Medal for the CD Shades, two Silver Medals for the CD Trombone Czar and as an Emerging Artist and a Gold Medal for Best Instrumentalist. Martin was also featured in a recent edition of Billboard magazine.
Martin is Associate Professor of Music and Artist/Teacher of Trombone at Texas State University where he directs the Trombone Choir and Jazz Trombone Ensembles. Under his leadership, the Trombone Choir and Jazz Trombone Ensembles have been invited to perform at the International Trombone Festival, American Trombone Workshop, Big 12 Trombone Conference and Texas Music Educators Association Convention on numerous occasions and have released two commercial recordings. Dr. McCain’s students have also been extremely successful in solo and ensemble competitions including the International Trombone Association competitions, the American Trombone Workshop competitions and the Big 12 Trombone Solo Competitions. He is also the founder/director of the Texas State Trombone Symposium. In addition to his duties at Texas State, Martin spends the summer on the faculty for the Austin Chamber Music Center Festival, Interharmony International Music Festival (Italy), Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, SliderAsia Music Festival (Hong Kong) and the English Brass Academy (Croatia).
Martin McCain is a performing artist for Michael Rath Trombones, Reunion Blues and plays on the “McCain” signature mouthpiece series manufactured by Pickett Brass. He is also an affiliate of AirTurn and The GigEasy.
For more information, please visit www.martinmccain.com.
Dan Torosian - Saxophone
Dan Torosian learned piano and trumpet while growing up in the New York area. He moved to Boston in the 80s, switched to saxophone, and started playing in R&B bands and doing studio work. Since moving to Austin in 1990 he has been a “regular” with Marcia Ball, Rotel and the Hot Tomatoes, Alejandro Escovedo, Ted Roddy, The Atlantics, Johnny Nicholas, Monster Big Band, the Austin Symphony, and in the orchestra pit at Zach Scott Theater. Dan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry from Harvard, and a Masters Degree in Music Composition from Southwest Texas State. He currently works as a performer, composer, and arranger, and is on the faculty at St. Edward’s University and the Austin School of Music.
Dr. Robert Cannon - Trumpet
Dr. Robert Cannon is currently Principal Trumpet with the Austin Symphony Orchestra and Austin Opera Orchestra. He has been a professional trumpet player since 1976 when he started performing with the Louisville Orchestra. He has also performed with the San Antonio Symphony, the Mid-Texas Symphony, the Laredo Philharmonic, the Victoria Bach Festival, Chorus Austin, Texas Choral Consort, Summer Stock Austin, the Zilker Musical, the Pinnacle Brass, Texas State University Faculty Brass, the University of Texas at Austin Faculty Brass and many others.
He currently teaches trumpet at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas and Cedar Park High and Middle schools in Cedar Park, Texas. He has taught in the past at the University of Texas at Austin, Southwestern University, Texas Lutheran University and the University of Southern Mississippi.
Dr. Cannon holds a DMA degree in Trumpet Performance from the University of Texas at Austin where he was a Graduate Teaching Assistant, a Masters in Trumpet Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi where he was a Graduate Teaching Assistant and a BM in Trumpet Performance and a BMED in Music Education from the University of Louisville.
He has studied privately with James Wilt of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Raymond Crisara of the NBC Symphony, Richard Giangiulio of the Dallas Symphony, Michael Tunnell of the University of Louisville and Leon Rapier of the Louisville Orchestra. He has performed in orchestras with such artists as Yo Yo Ma, Luciano Pavarotti, Itzhak Perlman, Midori, Joshua Bell, James Galway, Doc Severinson, Elvis Costello and many others.
Dr. Utah Hamrick - Bass
Dr. Utah Hamrick is a jazz educator at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from Central Michigan University and a DMA in Jazz Performance from the University of Texas. He frequently performs with Austin-based composer Graham Reynolds, including collaborations with Forklift Danceworks on Power Up! And Play Ball!, Reynolds’ Marfa Triptych and the motion picture soundtracks for Bernie and All is Bright. Utah frequently performs with the Austin Symphony Big Band, Magnificent 7, Monster Big Band, and Strings Attached and can be heard on the upcoming animated short The Oceanmaker.
Dr. Joey Colarusso - Saxophone
Dr. Joey Colarusso is the Coordinator of Instrumental Music at St. Edward's University in Austin, TX. There he directs the jazz ensembles and the mariachi ensemble in addition to teaching the music theory classes. Prior to teaching at St. Edward’s, Joey taught applied saxophone and clarinet at Prairie View A&M University. After graduating from Arlington High School, he attended the University of Texas at Austin where he earned his Bachelor of Music, Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in saxophone performance with jazz emphasis.
Able to play across many styles and genres as a saxophonist and woodwind doubler, Joey has performed and/or recorded with numerous local and international artists including The Nova Saxophone Quartet, Austin Symphony, Austin Lyric Opera, John Mills Times Ten, Johnny Mathis, Gino Vannelli, Michael Feinstein, Marvin Hamlisch, Kenny Rogers, Natalie Cole, Dick Dale, Olivia Newton John, 10000 Maniacs, Julie Budd, Aretha Franklin, Frankie Valli, The Temptations, Archie Bell and the Drells, W.C. Clark, Manhattan Transfer, Frank Sinatra Jr., Maureen McGovern, Tommy Tune, The Guy Lombardo Orchestra, Mike Stern, Bob Brookmeyer, Eddie Daniels, Conrad Herwig, Asleep at the Wheel, Dale Watson, Charley Pride, Danny Levin, Charlie Sexton, Bernadette Peters, Harvey Pittel, Donald Sinta, Grupo Fantasma, Rick Treviño, Little Joe y la Familia, Extreme Heat, Monster Big Band, The Tony Campise Big Band, The Creative Opportunity Orchestra and The United States Air Education Training and Command Band from Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.
Brenda Sansig-Salas - Trombone
With much encouragement from her junior high band director and algebra teacher, Brenda Sansig-Salas started taking trombone seriously at age twelve. By the time she was just fourteen, she was already playing professionally in Southwestern Pennsylvania as a freelance musician. As a senior in high school, she attended the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts.
Upon graduation from high school, Ms. Sansig-Salas enlisted in the United States Army Band. She was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Fort Clayton, Panama. While in the service, she performed for such dignitaries as Ronald Reagan and Colin Powell among others.
After receiving her honorable discharge, she attended the University of Texas at Austin earning both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. While at UT, her primary teachers were Donald Knaub, Allen Barnhill, and Wayne Barrington.
While living in Austin, Brenda has become very busy freelancing in the area. She plays principal trombone in the Austin Symphony and Austin Opera Orchestras. She had performed with the Mid-Texas Symphony for a number of years. She had also been a regular member of the Victoria Symphony, and has appeared with the Houston Symphony and the San Antonio Symphony on numerous occasions, as well as local back-up bands.
To fill her schedule, she teaches privately.
Jeanine Corroa - Vocals
Jeanine Corroa is currently the instructor of band, choir, and music at St. Austin Catholic School in Austin, Texas and also serves as Liturgy Coordinator. Jeanine’s musical roots began at her childhood home in White Castle, Louisiana, where her large musical family practiced vocal and instrumental music from many genres on a daily basis. Jeanine studied instrumental music education at Louisiana State University and earned a BME from Southeastern Louisiana University. She has taught instrumental and vocal music classes and private lessons since 1980.
Besides singing in the Stardust Orchestra, Jeanine has had the privilege of singing in Carnegie Hall with the Tara High School Jazz band from Baton Rouge. She has been a cantor and soloist in various churches in Louisiana and as part of the St. Austin Catholic Church choir, enjoyed a solo opportunity to sing for Pope Benedict while travelling in Italy.
Jeanine was the vocalist in husband Anthony ‘s ‘Round Midnight Jazz band in Baton Rouge, composed of alumni from Anthony’s high school jazz band and professional musicians in the Baton Rouge area. The band was later reorganized into the Stardust Orchestra. After moving to Austin in 2001, Jeanine and Anthony renamed the band Stardust Orchestra of Austin.
Jeanine’s favorite big band performers were Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Louis Armstrong.
Douglas Skinner - Baritone Saxophone
Douglas Skinner is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Music at Texas State University. In addition to teaching saxophone, Doug taught Jazz Ensemble, Jazz & Rock History, Woodwind Methods and Band Instrument Repair. He also served four terms as Interim Director of the School of Music. Doug holds the Bachelor of Music and Master of Music Education degrees from the University of North Texas where he was also a Graduate Teaching Assistant of saxophone.
As a concert soloist, Doug has performed throughout the United States and in England, Poland, Scotland, Russia, Turkey and Mexico. He was soprano saxophonist in The Nova Saxophone Quartet. The quartet’s recordings “InNOVAtions,” “Double Image” and “Outside the Box” were released on the Musical Heritage Society and Equilibrium labels. Doug has also performed with many artists including the 5th Dimension, Glen Campbell, The Spinners, Marvin Hamlisch, Diahann Carroll, Natalie Cole, Manhattan Transfer, Cab Calloway, Les Elgart, Claude Gordon, Dionne Warwick, Johnny Rivers, Austin Symphony and The Stardust Orchestra.
Doug’s publications include articles in Jazz Educator’s Journal, The Saxophone Symposium and Popular Musicians. Twenty-seven of his essays were published in various encyclopedias by Salem Press. His recent book, The Saxophone Handbook: A Complete Guide to Tone, Technique, Performance & Maintenance is published by Berklee Press.
Anthony J. Corroa - Director
Anthony Corroa, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance with Certification in Education from Louisiana State University (1969) and a Master of Music degree in Trumpet performance from Louisiana State University (1971). Mr. Corroa has a lifetime teaching certificate in the State of Louisiana where he taught concert, marching and jazz ensemble in addition to chorus on both the Junior High and Senior High School levels from 1971-1993. Throughout his teaching tenure, Mr. Corroa’s ensembles had consistently earned superior ratings in both District and State Band Festivals in Louisiana in addition to national competitions. In 1992, Mr. Corroa’s Tara High School Jazz Ensemble shared a concert performance with the Count Basie Orchestra in Carnegie Hall.
From 1965 through 2000 Mr. Corroa played trumpet with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his permanent position with the BRSO, Mr. Corroa also performed with the Lake Charles Symphony and Rapides Symphony. While attending LSU, Mr. Corroa spent his summers touring the country with the Ringling Bros. Circus Band. Jazz credits include a lengthy tenure with the Buddy-Lee Orchestra founded by Buddy Boudreaux and Lee Fortier. He also formed his own professional ensemble, the ‘Round Midnight Orchestra which later was renamed the Stardust Orchestra, a 17 piece Big Band featuring wife Jeanine on vocals.
A slight career transition began in 1993. While still performing with the BRSO, Mr. Corroa became Director of Operations for the orchestra and was later to be named General Manager during the 1998-99 season. Upon assuming his new role as Director of Operations with the Austin Symphony Orchestra in July of 2000, Anthony and wife Jeanine have settled nicely in their new home city of Austin. In December of 2009 the ASO Board of Directors named Mr. Corroa to his current position as Executive Director of the Austin Symphony Orchestra.